poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Students to take vow of silence for gay awareness
Students say silence represents daily oppression for gay community.
by Amanda Jacobs
A large group of Vanderbilt students will seal their lips from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, joining in on a student-led National Day of Silence (NDOS) to amplify the daily oppression endured by gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender individuals.

“It’s not difficult to remain silent,” said junior Everett Moran. “What’s difficult to do is to be silent with a purpose. Sometimes it’s hard for people to approach professors and explain (the nature of the protest).”

Founded in 1996 by students at the University of Virginia, NDOS has grown into a nationwide protest on the campuses of universities, high schools and middle schools. Vanderbilt’s participation predates most of the current students on campus.

“We generally have 40-50 people on campus participate,” said junior Joanna Dilts, president of the Vanderbilt Lambda Association. “Some (students) can’t because they have presentations or sports practice. We just ask people to be silent for as much of the day as they can and during the day think about it.”


Unable to Marry, Unable to Stay
Exposing the Plight Of Gay Binationals
By Evelyn Nieves
Washington Post Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO -- Leslie Bulbuk and Marta Donayre fell hard for each other, the way people do when they meet "the One." Within months, they knew that if they could, they would get married, file joint income taxes, name the other as next of kin.

But the couple had a problem beyond being lesbians in a country where same-gender marriages are not legal. Donayre, a public relations executive, was here from Brazil on a work visa. Then she was laid off -- jeopardizing her status in this country.

Had Bulbuk and Donayre been a heterosexual couple facing the same dilemma, they could have easily resolved it: The federal government allows a permanent U.S. resident in a committed heterosexual relationship with someone from another country to marry that person and sponsor his or her residency. In 2002, the latest year for which figures are available, nearly 300,000 immigrants who entered the United States were foreign brides or grooms.

But unlike immigration authorities in 16 other countries -- including, most recently, Brazil -- the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not grant gay couples the same immigration benefits available to heterosexuals.


City Council extends equal benefits to married gay couples
By Lornet Turnbull
Seattle Times staff reporter
A month after Mayor Greg Nickels issued an executive order recognizing same-sex marriages, the Seattle City Council yesterday unanimously approved legislation that would give married gays and lesbians on the city's payroll the same benefits that opposite-sex couples now receive.

While council members heralded the move as "historic," the change to city ordinance is really more symbolic than it is substantial.

Seattle has been offering domestic-partner benefits to same-sex couples since 1989. The value of those benefits is subject to federal taxes, which can exceed $500 a year. Yesterday's action doesn't change any of that.

However, it does:

• Extend the transfer of city-issued business licenses to the spouse of a same-sex married couple in the event the other spouse dies, just as it does now to the spouse in an opposite-sex marriage.

• Extend legal representation to the spouse of a city volunteer who is in a same-sex marriage, if that volunteer is sued while performing city work. Current law requires the city to defend the spouse of a volunteer in an opposite-sex marriage.

• Extend benefits, including sick leave, family and medical leave and bereavement leave to gay employees in same-sex marriages.


St. Louis Jewish Light will report same-sex ceremonies
By Deb Peterson
Of the Post-Dispatch
Deborah Peterson
NU?: The St. Louis Jewish Light newspaper has narrowly approved running same-sex commitment announcements on its pages. By a vote of 9-7, the newspaper's editorial board decided to accept such announcements for publication, editor and publisher Bob Cohn said Monday. Orthodox board members opposed publication of the announcements and were joined in voting against it by some of the non-Orthodox members, he added. The board is comprised mostly of Reform and Conservative Jews. Cohn said the Light will not use the same wording in the announcements that it uses in wedding announcements. For about 10 years the newspaper has accepted gay and lesbian personal ads; it also accepted its first same-sex birth announcement about 10 years ago. Cohn said the newspaper announced the ad policy in its April 7 edition, delivered to homes late last week and Monday. The Post-Dispatch began running same-sex commitment announcements nearly two years ago.


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